Home North East Digital outpatients service will help hospitals to recover clinic capacity

Digital outpatients service will help hospitals to recover clinic capacity

NHS partnership Health Call is rolling out a new digital outpatients service to connect clinicians with patients at home and minimise the need to attend hospital appointments in person during the pandemic.

Powered by Harrogate-based Inhealthcare, the new video conferencing service allows for better communications between health care professionals and people living with long-term conditions.

It will help hospitals build capacity in outpatient services and reduce the number of unnecessary nurse visits to care homes, lowering the risk of spreading coronavirus infections.

The service integrates directly with hospital patient administration systems and books appointments, delivers reminders, records attendances, distributes and gathers patient questionnaires and shares outcome forms with electronic patient records.

Patients have a choice of communication channels including mobile app, web browser, text message or telephone landline, depending on individual preference.

Andrew Izon, director of Health Call and chief information officer at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The NHS embraced video conferencing at the onset of coronavirus but early services lacked functions to make life easier for users, whether patients or professionals.

“The digital outpatients service builds on the success of video conferencing with an all-encompassing approach to help hospitals meet outpatient demand and catch up on the growing backlog of cancelled or delayed appointments.

“Our team of digital health specialists have created a service which is intuitive to use, enables the sharing of real-time data and improves quality of life by helping patients to manage their health, their way.”

Bryn Sage, chief executive of Inhealthcare, said: “This service is a great example of how our remote monitoring technology can be applied to the big challenges facing the NHS and we look forward to seeing it embraced by hospital trusts across England.”

Inhealthcare is a UK leader in digital health and remote patient monitoring. The company enables patients to self-test and self-report questionnaires, blood tests and vital sign measurements without the need for face-to-face consultations. It has more than 100 commissioned services, supporting more than 500,000 patients across the UK.

Inhealthcare’s underlying technology platform and its associated patient and clinician-facing applications are registered with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency as a Medical Device.